Will my panic attacks ever go away?

     In most cases, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Because most panic attacks are a form of anxiety, and because hypnosis can be so helpful with anxiety, hypnosis can also be helpful in reducing or eliminating panic attacks. I have found that panic attacks are usually evidence of the ever more frantic attempts of the "anxious part" (see the previous two posts) to protect the person from some perceived threat (a risk to emotional or physical safety). Working with the anxious part to help it realize it is over-reacting to the perceived threat is usually all it takes to reduce the awful symptoms of the panic attack.

     If you are suffering from what you suspect might be panic attacks, it's a always a good idea to visit your doctor and make sure your heart is functioning as it should. If heart issues are ruled out, consider your caffeine consumption - over doing it with coffee or other highly caffeinated beverages can also cause panic-like symptoms. Other possible causes of panic attacks that should be ruled out: hyperthyroidism, side effect of certain medications, alcohol or other drug withdrawal.

     In case you're not sure if what you've been feeling is panic or something else, here are the common symptoms of panic attacks: 

  • Palpitations, and/or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or being smothered
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • De-realization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or going insane
  • Sense of impending death
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills or hot flashes

(Source: DSM IV)

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